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Monday, March 10, 2014

Sex Sells... But Give Me A Break.

I was driving in my non-sexual car, listening to a non-sexual radio station. An advert between songs began. The woman in the ad said excitedly, “I bought a Jeep”. Her excitement at her own statement grew. “I bought a JEEP”. Once again, her excitement grew, and began to take on a sexual tone. “Oh... Oh... I bought... a JEEP!”. You get the picture. She was orgasmically excited. Something about the purchase of a 4 wheel drive just reallllly pressed her button. Revved her engine. Pumped her petrol tank. And I couldn’t help but roll my eyes.

Sex sells.... but give me a break. Does this actually work on anyone?

Jeeps are a good-looking car, I guess. In a Rich Soccer Mum type way (PS, I know nothing about cars – to me, they are either shiny, or not shiny). But I don’t think there was any need for this lady to be climaxing over my radio. Or is there? Maybe I didn’t grasp the selling point. Does the Jeep have vibrating seats, perhaps? Does it come with a sexual partner with all the right moves? A blow-up doll that bursts out with the airbag, maybe?  Probs not. I think it is highly unlikely that she was actually turned on by something physically sensual. Perhaps the idea of spending a lot of money turns her on. I just paid my insurance bill. I think a need a post-coital cigarette.*

Because boobs.

The thing is, unlike the funny or clever ads, the sexy ads just don’t make me any more interested in the product. Possibly even less so. They just make me giggle and scratch my head. For example, the Budget insurance ads with the French chick singing in the shower while her older husband shaves in the sink and corrects her pronunciation of the word “budget”.... I don’t know why she is naked, or what brought the two of them together (I like to invent a ‘rich’ back story in which he is a widowed millionaire and she was found on a Mail Order Bride website), but I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with insurance. And then, during an ad break one cosy night in, I noticed the mismatched couple had been replaced with aliens. I thought someone had spiked my brownie. Evidently not. At least Budget was trying a new tactic to sell insurance other than a sexy dumb French chick...but I can’t say martians were a better choice.

Speaking of insurance ads (and it’s bloody rare to see a good one...), what is with the one where the dude is talking about retirement, whilst changing into various uniforms to turn on his wife? He tries on a tradie costume and a chef costume, while she lays on the bed suggestively. Right-o. Can’t remember the number for the insurance company, but if I ever need it, I’ll just try 1800-HORNYRETIREES.

Calvin Klein. Nothing beats a denim orgy.

Nespresso ads with George Clooney and hot chicks, clinking their coffee cups like Martinis in some private exclusive coffee club, flirting over their Ristretto-Arpeggio-Espresso (wanker) Brews and undressing each other with their eyes. These ads probably have more to do with celebrity endorsement than over-sexualisation, and I actually find the ads quite amusing, but once again, it seems to have very little to do with the actual product. Unless they are telling me that if I buy a Nespresso machine and start popping pods, I’m suddenly going to be much more appealing to sex-god status celebrities (actually I think I better buy one... just in case...). There’s an ad for cat food with Eva Longoria purring along the carpet in a short dress. She’s hot, yeah. But it’s cat food. Cat. Food. Not. Sexy. And gentlemen, if you believe what you see, use Lynx. You’ll be banging supermodels in no time.

I asked around on Facebook if anyone found other ads unnecessarily sexy. The brands that my buddies assosciated with having random sexy ads, either occasionally or consistenly, goes on and on**. AAMI, Absolut, Bonds, Calvin Klein, Carls Jr (an American burger joint), Equinox, Libra, Lynx, McDonalds, Soda Stream, Sprite. But did anyone actually buy the products based on the sexed-up ads? Clever ads, happy ads and funny ads have made me jump to buy the products. Ads that move me or excite me (hellllooooo Cadbury Marvellous Creations). But I’m talking about exciting my tastebuds or my intellect... because try as they might, the 30 second slots rarely rev my engine.

If the whole point of ‘sex sells’ is to get people talking about the product, then I guess some advertising execs are nailing it . The ads certainly stick in my mind. And some of the time, I even remember what the product is they are selling. But even so, I prefer my ad breaks to have a little more brain, and a little less bang.

Now excuse me, I have to go and have an orgasm in my Jeep.

*Come to think of it, Jeep ads in general are pissing me off a bit lately. I guess it’s working, because the ‘I bought a Jeep’ line is coming up in conversation every now and then, so it is seeping its’ way into our brains no matter how infuriatingly it got there. The one that I hate the most is the earliest one – a lady is cleaning up the living room and tells her husband that she bought  a Jeep. “You bought a Jeep?” says Michael, incredulously. “Yes Michael... I bought a Jeep” says wifey. This goes on for some time, until Michael smirks proudly. What is this implying? That it is surprising a woman bought a good car without supervision? Is Michael shocked that wifey didn’t just buy shoes and tampons like she normally does? Maybe I’m reading into it too much, and maybe I’m just a bit of a grump... but every time I hear “I bought a Jeep”, I want to scream “SO FUCKING WHAT??”. The ads certainly don’t want to make me jump on the bandwagon.

**See links below to the most overt ones. Granted, some of these are tongue-in-cheek (mind the pun) sexuality, poking fun at the fact that they are selling an unsexy product with sex. Existentialism has never looked hotter.

Nina Agdal starring in Carl's jr Sexy Commercial TV Ad:

Scarlett Johansson SodaStream ad:

Miranda Kerr's Bizarre Japanese Advert for Lipton Limon Iced Tea:

Budget shower ad:

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on Twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She is probably buying Cadbury Marvellous Creations, because she likes that ad.

You are welcome to disagree with me, or post more links, or tell me about your orgasmic Jeep experience below.

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha. Carls Jr.... Worst ad ever. I'm sure she puked that up immediately. Good work Lucy :)